Local church keeps tradition by making holiday food baskets for families in need

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CLEVELAND - A local fraternity carries on a longtime tradition in the true spirit of Christmas. Members of the alumni chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha were busy putting holiday food baskets together inside Lee Memorial A.M.E. Church on Saturday.

The fraternity worked with pastors from Cleveland area churches to identify families in need this time of year.   They get the fixings for a complete holiday meal. "It will help out to be able to feed my family and my sister - help her feed her family, as well," Towanda Robinson said.

Alpha Phi Alpha has carried out this tradition for the past 32 years.  This gesture of giving speaks to the fraternity's core belief.  “The mission statement is to help and uplift all humanity. And, the members of Alpha Phi Alpha have always stood by that.  It's our credo," alumni fraternity member Duane Crockrom said.

Fraternity brothers make the donations to fill the baskets.  This Christmas, they help put food on the table for 150 families. "I say if it is from their heart, that's a good thing,” recipient Vanessa Cason said.

Alpha Phi Alpha is glad to make Christmas better for needy families again this year. The fraternity's only regret is that they cannot do this every day.  "I would like to thank them for giving back to the community because that's what it is all about," Robinson said.